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Proteins are not rigid structures: Protein dynamics, conformational variability, and thermodynamic stability Dr. Andrew Lee UNC School of Pharmacy (Div.

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Presentation on theme: "Proteins are not rigid structures: Protein dynamics, conformational variability, and thermodynamic stability Dr. Andrew Lee UNC School of Pharmacy (Div."— Presentation transcript:

1 Proteins are not rigid structures: Protein dynamics, conformational variability, and thermodynamic stability Dr. Andrew Lee UNC School of Pharmacy (Div. Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry) UNC Med School (Biochemistry and Biophysics) 201A Beard Hall

2 Proteins are long polypeptide chains of ~50 or more “residues”. amino terminuscarboxy terminus “N”“N”“C”“C” “N”“N” “C”“C” globular fold MAKRNIVTATTSKGEFTMLGVHDNVAILPTHASPGESIVIDGKE- VEILDAKALEDQAGTNLEITIITLKRNEKFRDIRPHIPTQITETNDG- VLIVNTSKYPNMYVPVGAVTEQGYLNLGGRQTARTLMYNFPTRAGQ…. Protein sequences are given as linear sequences of their one-letter amino acids:

3 Proteins are typically “globular” in shape myoglobin (17 kDa)

4 Protein structure is “tightly packed”, like a solid a single protein chain “folds” into a compact structure hydrophobic residues on inside (red), hydrophilic on outside (blue) “cutaway view” taken from: “Protein Structure and Function” (Petsko & Ringe)

5 Outline Thermodynamic stability of proteins Protein dynamics - contributions from enthalpy and entropy - how dynamics has been measured/detected - relation to function

6 When proteins come off the ribosome, they typically fold Why do they fold? Thermodynamics How do they fold? Protein folding kinetics ribosome mRNA protein

7 Four Forces Driving Protein Structure Formation 3. H-Bonds 2. van der Waals forces1. hydrophobic effect 4. electrostatic interactions

8 Force 1: The “hydrophobic effect” hydrophobic core hydrophilic surface

9 “greasy” molecule “clathrate” cage structures protein unfolded: hydrophobic side chains exposed => clathrate structures protein folded: hydrophobic side chains are buried “ordered” H 2 O in clathrates are entropically unfavorable “caged” H 2 O structures “hydrophobic effect” (continued)

10 Protein Folding and the 2-State Approximation unfolded “state”: Ufolded state: F “random coil”: large # of conformationsuniquely folded structure  G f = - RT ln K f K fold = [ folded ] [ unfolded ] K u = 1/K f Equilibrium Constants: U F G GG

11  G =  H - T  S enthalpyentropy non-covalent bonding - hydrophobic effect (desolvation) - conformational entropy -van der Waals interactions -H-bonding -electrostatic interactions

12 Individual classes of interactions can be strongly energetically favorable or strongly energetically unfavorable. to fold or not to fold Favorable interactions enthalpy from van der Waals packing interactions hydrophobic effect (H 2 O entropy) gain of protein-protein H-bonds electrostatic effects Unfavorable Interactions protein conformational entropy loss of protein-water H-bonding +-

13 Proteins are typically “stable” by only 5-10 kcal/mole Protein folding stability is precariously balanced enthalpically favored entropically unfavored (or is it?)  G =  H - T  S Bond Type  G (kcal/mole) hydrogen bond1-3 ATP hydrolysis~7 C-H covalent bond~100 Compare to other bond energies: HH TSTS

14 Proteins are in equilibrium with the denatured state. Because the  G is ~5-10 kcal/mole, there is a small (but not insignificant) population of unfolded proteins. G

15 Protein Dynamics

16 Fine, proteins have shapes and stable structure. Proteins actually DO THINGS!! So what’s the big deal? bind other molecules (proteins, DNA, metabolites) catalyze reactions (enzymes) movement, such as muscle contractions, rotary motors, etc.

17 Ligand binding: Proteins can change their shape Protein structures fluctuate on many different timescales They can unfold (and refold) They can switch to another conformation Lock and Key “Induced Fit”

18 Hemoglobin: an allosteric protein 4 chains: 2 “  ” chains 2 “  ” chains 4 hemes 4 O 2 binding sites O 2 binding at the 4 sites are NOT independent!  

19 “T”“T”“R”“R” Adjustment (small) of tertiary structure in monomers Adjustment (large) of quarternary structure at the chain interfaces (loss of deoxy interactions “paid” for by binding of O 2 ) deoxy oxy allosteric “communication” between O 2 binding sites is possible because of hemoglobin’s tetrameric structure

20 Timescales of Motion in Proteins 10 -12 sec10 -9 10 -6 10 -3 1 sec large conformational “switching” protein unfolding aromatic ring flipping side-chain motions backbone librations

21 Proteins have dynamic flexibility length of movie = 5 nanoseconds (5 x 10 -9 sec)

22 Yet, the “static model” of protein structure is firmly embedded in our psyche: “Seeing is believing”

23  How do we know that proteins fluctuate? Can we see it experimentally?  Are fluctuations in the structure important for function? 2 Key Questions

24 Timeline for key experiments/observations in protein dynamics Spectroscopy: G. Weber described proteins as “kicking and screaming” (1975) Computer simulations (first time to “see” dynamics) (1980’s) Cold crystal experiment (x-ray) The protein energy landscape (applies to dynamics too) Clear demonstration of aromatic side chains “flipping” by NMR NMR relaxation, (and later, Vendruscolo visualization) Wand nature paper (entropy, the “line”) DHFR dynamics (function) Evidence for: Actually “seeing” it experimentally in proteins (NMR): 1980’s 1990’s (2005) 2007 2006 1992 1991

25 Rassmussen et al., Nature (1992) Experimental evidence for importance of dynamics for function The “glass transition”: protein motions “freeze out” at 220 Kelvin RNase A experiment crystal at room temp: cuts RNA in two crystal at 230 K: slowly cuts RNA in two crystal at 210 K: no cutting warm crystal to 230K: slow cutting again from x-ray diffraction, no difference in structure betweetn 210 and 230 K!!! conclusion: thermal motions required for RNase A activity.

26 The “accepted” view The “new” view Protein energy landscape

27 Chen et al., PNAS (2012), 33, 13284-13289. for G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs)

28 NMR Spectroscopy Proteins are studied in solution Structural information obtained by nuclear spin spectroscopy


30 Chemical Environment: chemical shift J-coupling 1 H (ppm)

31 For 1 H and 13 C spins, 1D FT-NMR spectra can be obtained. However, spectral complexity increases with increasing molecular weight. 1 H spectrum of lysozyme at 800 MHz (and the J-couplings aren’t even seen here!!!)

32 15 N (2 nd dimension) 1 H NMR spectrum: Can resolve more “peaks” by adding a 2 nd dimension.

33 Structure solved in solution by NMR: Proteins exist as conformational ensembles backbone atoms onlyall atoms (i.e. with side chains)

34 Spin-Relaxation: a more direct measure of dynamics T1T1

35 Characterization of dynamics directly from relaxation of NMR signals Order parameter: S 2 1 = fixed orientation 0 = no preferred orientation captures motion on ps-ns timescale backbone NH side-chain methyl (C-CH 3 bond) (N-H bond) low S 2 high S 2 use S 2 for ensemble restraint. ps-ns timescale ensemble work by Michele Vendruscolo and coworkers core is “liquid-like”

36 Calculate entropy for individual residues from the order parameter: Actual change in entropy upon binding, measured thermodynamically (actual energy!) S = entropy (measure of “disorder”)  G (overall free energy) =  H - T  S A. Joshua Wand and coworkers. Protein flexibility (“dynamics”) can affect protein-ligand affinity binding affinity (entropic component) dynamics

37 “Protein dynamics” is still a relatively new field of research Complementary to static structure determination (i.e. x-ray diffraction) Motions on order of 10 ns – 1 ms very hard to characterize in detail Computer simulated proteins provides the “clearest” picture (but computer power is an issue – hard to go longer than 1 μs) Dynamics important for function, but we are just beginning to understand why. Where are we at now with our knowledge of protein dynamics?

38 Study Questions 2. Based on basic principles of physical chemistry, how can dynamics affect free energy changes via entropy? 1. Would you expect a globular, folded protein to spontaneously unfold? If “no”, why? If “yes”, what would you expect to happen after that? see optional question #3 on next slide…… 4.For a protein that is stable at 3 kcal/mole (that is, ΔG fold = -3 kcal/mole), calculate the percentage of proteins that will be unfolded at 25 ºC at equilibrium? Optional question:

39 3) You encounter a shrink ray that reduces you to a 10nm sized human being. Taking advantage of your small size, you decide to scuba dive into a beaker and observe protein folding and dynamics. This protein is 20kDa in size, has both hydrophobic and hydrophillic residues, and is known to be allosteric. a) Given your knowledge of the driving forces for protein folding and unfolding, visually represent these forces in play for a protein in water. Label your diagram and include detailed explanations for what you see, considering all the complications discussed this week for protein folding and dynamics. (E.g. Drawing representative amino acid residues within part of this protein that are known to be involved in van der Waals interactions and whether these (non-covalent “bonds”) are stronger or weaker than other types of bonds, what forces are at play with these bonds, how these forces do or do not contribute to folding, ΔH, or ΔS.) b) The scientist whose bench you have invaded adds adequate ligand to bind to both binding sites on the allosteric protein. Again, visually represent what happens to the protein and the forces at play. Include in your discussion the dynamics of the protein and how it would affect ligand binding, conformational selection vs. induced fit models, and which model you think is more likely to represent your allosteric protein.

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